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Publishing Academic Research: Journal Articles

This guide provides information about strategic publishing, publishing agreements, Open Access and ERA specifications.

Selecting an appropriate journal for manuscript submission

Criteria to consider when selecting an appropriate journal to submit your manuscript to:

  • What is the scope and focus of the journal?
  • What is the composition of the editorial board? Look for an editor who you think will understand the research in your manuscript?
  • Are the author guidelines and the publisher's conditions acceptable?
  • Does the journal have a copyright and open access policy?
  • Is an Article Processing Charge required to make articles Open Access?
  • What is the journal's publication schedule - how many articles/issues are in earlier volumes?
  • What is the average turnaround time from submission to acceptance?
  • What is the journal's rate of acceptance - some journals make this information available?
  • How do the journal's ranking metrics compare with those of similar journals?
  • Does the journal have an online presence and high visibility e.g. is it listed in catalogues of other university libraries and research institutions in your field of study?
  • Does the journal have an ISSN?
  • Are DOIs are assigned to individual articles?
  • Does the journal meet the specifications required for ERA? See the box on the right titled: "ERA eligibility - journal articles".
  • Is the journal listed in the current ERA Journal list? Check this via the link below.

Peer review explained

The term peer review is used interchangeably with refereed.

The quality of journal articles is controlled through the process of peer review. Peer reviewed journals are considered to have more academic integrity than journals or other publications that are not peer reviewed.

Peer review is the process by which a manuscript is evaluated by experts in the same field of research as the article. Peer reviewers recommend whether the manuscript falls within the scope and focus of the journal, provide feedback on how the article can be improved, and state whether they feel it should be accepted / rejected for publication in that journal.

Not all articles published in peer reviewed journals are refereed. Typical examples include book reviews, editorials and letters or short communications.

Lists of journals and publishers

The lists of journals and publishers at the following links are created for various purposes but all have undergone some degree of quality control. Use these lists to help you investigate the quality of a journal or publisher.

ERA eligibility - journal articles

In choosing where to publish your research as a journal article, be aware that your decision will determine whether the work will be counted for ERA as a Traditional Research Output (TRO).

In order for a journal article to be eligible for ERA (as a Traditional Research Output), it must:

  1. meet the definition of research i.e. be substantial, original and scholarly
  2. be a major work of scholarship
  3. be peer-reviewed.  An acceptable peer review process is one that involves an impartial and independent assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety before publication by independent, qualified experts before publication.
  4. be published in a journal with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or a journal listed in an authoritative listing such as the Thomson-Reuters Master Journals List, Scopus database or Ulrichs Global Serials Directory.

Types of articles unlikely to meet the ERA eligibility criteria are:

  • letters to the editor
  • case studies
  • articles designed to inform practitioners on existing knowledge in a professional field
  • articles in newspapers and popular magazines
  • editorials
  • book reviews
  • brief commentaries and communications of original research.

Instructions to authors

It is important that you carefully read and follow a journal's Instructions to Authors.

Make sure you do not sign the publishing agreement until you are sure that you understand what you are agreeing to. Get advice if there are clauses that you do not understand or are concerned about. For more information, see the Publishing Agreements box in this LibGuide.

Examples of publisher Instructions to Authors *:

* Note: Instructions to Authors may vary for specific journals.

Reaching a target audience

Publishing your research findings in a regional journal may help to reach your target audience.

Journals Online is an authoritative listing that you might like to consider. The Journals Online (JOL) project aims to improve the accessibility and visibility of developing-country research by providing a cost-effective and secure platform for journals. Journals are evaluated before they can be included in JOL so you can have greater confidence in journals on a JOL platform. Current journals are:

Managed in-country

African Journals Online (AJOL)

Philippines Journals Online

Vietnam Journals Online

Managed by INASP (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications)

Bangladesh Journals Online

Nepal Journals Online

Sri Lanka Journals Online

Central American Journals Online

Mongolia Journals Online


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